What can you learn from your photos?

I’ve been using a digital camera since 2004. (And various small film cameras before that.) That means that I have almost 10 years of my life recorded in photos and taking up quite a lot of space on my computer. It also means that if I remember a specific photo that I’d like to use or adapt, it can sometimes take me a while to find where I filed it. So I decided to do two things – have a clear out, and create a spreadsheet to help me locate photos on certain themes.

It was only meant to be an admin task to make my life easier and make my computer feel better. But it turned out to be an interesting process as well. So what did I learn from the photos I have taken over the last 10 years?

I love travel
Well I knew that already. But looking through the photos reminded me of some of the places I’ve been in those 10 years. In that time I’ve visited 17 new countries and made over 50 visits to countries I’d already been to (although probably half of those trips were for work, so don’t get too jealous!). I found a few photos of my holidays to have enlarged on canvasses as a reminder.

There were some months I hardly took any photos
Looking back now I’m not quite sure what else I was doing with my time in those months, but it certainly wasn’t visiting nice places and taking photos of them!

Some years I did a lot of business travel
The furthest I’ve ever been on a business trip was probably Rhodes, and the rest of the visits were also in Europe. The photos did remind me of some interesting moments – red squirrels in a snowy park in Warsaw, wandering around Montmartre in Paris admiring the view over the city, a beautiful setting in the Italian Lakes area, a hurried trip to the Acropolis en route back from Rhodes.

My own appearance changes from year to year
Some years I was a bit bigger than normal, so there were less photos of me. Sometimes my hair was a little more blonde, sometimes it was shorter, or curlier!

I’d forgotten how I’d decorated the inside of my flat!
I sold my first property back in 2008, and have lived with my husband ever since. So it’s interesting to look back at the photos taken inside that flat and see how I chose to decorate it – all the colourful postcards and images from my travels, some of which are still prominent in our new house, some of which have disappeared in boxes somewhere.

Shell Beach, Western AustraliaThere are definite themes in my photography
I take photos of people I’m with at events or on holidays, and also end up in a few myself. But when I’m out and about, whether for a day or a holiday, the common themes are nature, the outdoors, birds, animals, interesting buildings and unusual angles, details details details. And penguins. A lot of penguins.

I’ve started taking more outdoor photos
I think it’s fair to say that since I did the 30 Day Challenge in May 2012 I have taken a lot more photos just for the enjoyment of doing so. I do now have more time than I did before, but I definitely have more of an inclination to just go outside and enjoy the world around me.

Have you looked back at your photos recently?
What do they say about your life and how you’ve chosen to spend your time and money?

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